If Beale Street Could Talk: A Novel

Written by:
James Baldwin
Narrated by:
Bahni Turpin

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2016
7 hours 8 minutes
From one of the most important writers of the twentieth century comes a stunning love story about a young Black woman whose life is torn apart when her lover is wrongly accused of a crime—'a moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless” (The New York Times Book Review).'One of the best books Baldwin has ever written—perhaps the best of all.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

In this honest and stunning novel, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad.

Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and is imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions—affection, despair, and hope.

In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
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Michael T.

First, hated the way it ended. Left me feeling cheated; like where’s the rest of it? The characters were good, not Toni Morrison style.

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Latoya L.

Awesome book, I wish it could have lasted longer. I love the way James Baldwin describes and takes us on the journey of young love as it blossoms even through a rough situation. It shows the depths parents go to show and prove the love and innocence for their children. Even though this book was written some time ago, it still resonates today.

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Imoni B.

LOVED IT LOVE BALDWIN & LOVE TURPIN. The way the book is read I was always on the edge of my seat. The narration compliments the actual literature perfectly. I listened to the audio and then watched the movie in one whole day and man I’d rather listen to Turpin read. Excellent excellent excellent. The way it ended was bad but that’s the life of black people for you. It ain’t always happy.

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Lolita H.

Great, great book. I loved the story and the prospective in which it was told. Baldwin's in depth details on emotions and character's state of mind, (state of being) was insightful and thorough. Mostly, I appreciated the love: love of family, love of a sibling, love of a man and his woman, and love extended within the community to those who need it most.

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I found the story to be very slow moving and at times difficult to determine when it had switched from the present to the past.

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